PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - Freddy Garcia expects to win a job in the New York Yankees' pitching rotation.
The 34-year-old right-hander is so confident about his chances that he feels if he doesn't earn one of two openings behind CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett that he will have no one to blame but himself.
``I said it the first day of camp. I lose the spot, that's my fault,' the two-time AL All-Star said after working two scoreless innings during a 1-1, 10-inning exhibition tie with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
``That's my responsibility, to do my job in spring training.'
Manager Joe Girardi likes the attitude.
Garcia, signed to a minor league contract after going 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA for the Chicago White Sox last season, allowed two hits and struck out one in his debut.
After striking out Evan Longoria to end a one-two-three first inning, he escaped a potential jam in the second when Matt Joyce singled with one out and was later thrown out trying to advance to third on a two-out infield single by Sean Rodriguez.
``It's good to get the first one out of the way. ... Everything went fine,' Garcia said. ``Right now, I feel pretty good. I'm in good shape. My arm feels great.'
Girardi said it's premature to talk about Garcia's prospects for winding up in the rotation. However, he does appreciates the pitcher's confidence.
``You've got to believe in yourself in this game,' the manager said. ``It's a tough game. Everyone's always fighting for jobs, so that's the belief you have to have.'
Ivan Nova, also competing for one of two open spots in the rotation, followed Garcia with a three-inning scoreless stint of his own. Bartolo Colon and Sergio Mitre are also in the running.
``We're going to evaluate. That's what we have to do,' Girardi said. ``Bartolo's going to throw tomorrow. We saw Nova today.'
Tampa Bay's Tim Beckham drew a base-loaded walk in the seventh inning. The Yankees tied it in the eighth on a throwing error by shortstop Ray Olmedo.
The game was called after 10 innings.
James Shields started for Tampa Bay and allowed one hit and a walk in three scoreless innings. Juan Cruz, R.J. Swindle, Cesar Ramos, Jake McGee and Cory Wade limited the Yankees to three hits over the final seven innings.
``Both sides pitched really well,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``Nothing else really stood out.'
Notes: Yankees RHP Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay's closer last season, is expected to throw batting practice for the first time on Friday. Soriano, who will be the primary eighth inning setup man for closer Mariano Rivera, will work just around eight innings in spring training games. ... Yankees RHP Andrew Brackman, sidelined almost a week by a groin injury, felt fine after a bullpen session. ... Maddon continues to tinker with Tampa Bay's batting order. B.J. Upton was in the leadoff spot Thursday and went 1 for 3.
The Associated Press News Service
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